Looks like NAO (from Aldebaran Robotics) hasn't developed much in the way of snow boarding skills and tecniques, but he is 100% committed to learning the sport.
Related links: NAO SnowBoarder - YouTube
Keller Rinaudo, on of the inventors of the Romo robot, took the stage at the TED2013 event this February in Long Beach, California to explain the who/what/where/why behind his minirobot creation.
Romo is fairly impressive, and can do a number of different routines, including movement, some tracking, and response reactions. The brains of the system are provided by your smartphone. Beyond that, you're pretty much on your own, limited only by your imagination.
It's probably a bit too late for people to register and participate in the 2013 Global Cloud Robotics Hackathon, unless you're a glutton for punishment and a wiz at hacking/coding/developing. Nevertheless, feel free to give it a try if you enjoy a good challenge.
The Hackathon kicked off on April 6th and the final submission deadline is April 14th. Of course, it corresponds to National Robotics Week. In addition to all the glory and bragging rights, the sponsors have put up cash prizes totaling $3,000. Personally, I prefer the energy and interaction of a live hackathon where a big portion of the benefit is getting to hang out with other developers, exchanging tips, experiences, and ideas.
The prizes are nice, no question, but it's the interaction and exchange that really turns me on. The organizers have also started Google Hangout based Q&A sessions to respond to questions from remote participants. Last year the hackathon focused on getting people involved with robotics, even at a novice or primative level. This year the focus has shifted to remote monitoring, an area that could produce tremendous benefits in the long term
Related links: Cloud Robotics Hackathon
I usually have CNN muted on the TV in my office while I work, and glance up to see what's going on in the world from time to time. But, I didn't expect to see the 3Doodler printing pen featured.
Thanks to their recent success with a Kickstarter project that yielded well over $2 million, the two inventors, Maxwell Bogue and Peter Dilworth, are going to commercialize the innovative product.
The 3Doodler concept is elegantly simple. Basically it's a repackaged plastic filament extruder that you can hold in your hand. I'm sure that a lot of 3D printing devotees are kicking themselves for not coming up with the idea first. Of course, just having the idea isn't enough. Bogue and Dilworth also had the vision to imagine what the product could be, and they had the drive, passion, and ambition to stick with the development for months, overcoming many hurdles along the way, until they had enough confidence to go public with their Kickstarter project.
Oddly enough, they set the original project target at $30,000 and would have been happy to achieve that number. Instead, and much to their surprise, the response was overwhelmingly positive - more than they ever imagined was possible. The Kickstarter project is closed already, though I was lucky enough to sign up within the first 200, but they do plan to sell commercial 3Doodler units for around $100 each later in the year after they ship all their Kickstarter commitments.
"Shelved" has got to be the best short video featuring robots that I've seen in a long, long time. Produced at Auckland New Zealand's Media Design School, the short fuses humor, technique, and high production values into a memorable, worthwhile experience. Get on "the escalator of awesomeness".
Film buffs will recognize the influence of Kevin Smith and Richard Linklater, which is all to the good. Check it out, even if you're not into robots.
Related links: Shelved on Vimeo
Trekkies will pay anything to grab artifacts from their favorite show, especially when the item is particularly unique or rare.
The one-of-a-kind phaser rifle only showed up in one episode of Star Trek, and that also happened to be the second pilot, though it's image also appeared on a Star Trek lunchbox (I didn't have one of those, unfortunately).
As extreme as $231,000 sounds, it was far from the highest auction price ever paid for a Star Trek collectable. In 2008 a collector paid $304,750 for the captain's chair from the Enterprise set, and a miniature model of the Enterprise went for $576,000 in 2006.
Related links: Rare 'Star Trek' Phaser Sold for $231,000 at Auction